Why the Future of Manufacturing needs to be Green

Why the Future of Manufacturing needs to be Green

Why the Future of Manufacturing needs to be Green 

The envi­ron­ment dilem­ma is becom­ing an increas­ing pres­sure faced by today’s indus­tri­al man­u­fac­tur­ers. Its influ­ence extends beyond man­u­fac­ture’s own stand­point on eco-sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Rather than a sole­ly inter­nal force of change, exter­nal forces such as con­sumer pur­chase deci­sions and gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions are becom­ing the main moti­va­tors for change. Eco-friend­ly ini­tia­tives are no longer sec­ondary expen­di­tures to be used as sell­ing points or CSR boosts, but rather invest­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able and eco-friend­ly prac­tices is now nec­es­sary for the very survival of today’s man­u­fac­tur­ers.  

Some view this eco-friend­ly / sus­tain­abil­i­ty move­ment as a threat to the tra­di­tion­al indus­try sec­tor. As manu­fac­tur­ers are fac­ing stricter laws regard­ing the type and amount of allowed pol­lu­tants derived from pro­duc­tionAddi­tion­al­ly, the use of more renew­able and sus­tain­able resources in pro­duc­tion is also becom­ing an unavoid­able require­ment. In some cas­es, these pres­sures may even threat­en the sur­vival of many tra­di­tion­al­ly estab­lished busi­ness­es. But despite inher­ent­ly being a lim­iter on pro­duc­tion, eco-friend­ly prac­tices have rather been shown to both improve qual­i­ty of pro­duc­tion and low­er expen­di­ture. 

What many man­agers with­in the indus­tri­al sec­tor fail to see is how sus­tain­abil­i­ty is not the process of halt­ing the cor­po­rate world from pro­gress­ing and to put the nat­ur­al one above every­thing else, the eco-friend­ly equa­tionrather aim to estab­lish a syn­er­gy and bal­ance between our natur­al envi­ron­ment and our indus­tri­al growth. Eco-sustain­abil­i­ty as a con­cept in man­u­fac­tur­ing is not pure­ly the pur­suit of clean man­u­fac­tur­ing in favor of the envi­ron­ment. When done effec­tive­ly sus­tain­able prac­tices opti­mize pro­duc­tion lines and restruc­ture man­u­fac­tur­ers into more effi­cient and indus­tri­al enti­ties 

Expen­di­ture in clean ener­gy and in ener­gy effi­cient tech­nolo­gies such as solar ener­gy, ener­gy effi­cient light­ing, and data opti­mized fac­to­ries, has been shown to over­all low­er invest­ment into ener­gy. Ener­gy effi­cient tech­nolo­gies opti­mize ener­gy use to lim­it unnec­es­sary expen­di­ture, while clean ener­gy infra­struc­ture such as solar pan­els can make a fac­to­ry part­ly self-suf­fi­cient.  

The notable change comes when eco-sus­tain­abil­i­ty and big data meet in the form of smart fac­to­ries. These are high­ly auto­mat­ed fac­to­ries with a data infra­struc­ture inte­grat­ed into the pro­duc­tion line. Here data analy­sis takes con­trol of pro­duc­tion by using data to opti­mize all aspects of pro­duc­tion from machine integri­ty to rate of pro­duc­tion fail­ure. A study con­duct­ed by Deloitte Insights found that smart fac­to­ries increased the pro­duc­tion capac­i­ty by 25% and low­ered the per­cent­age of defec­tive prod­ucts by 50 per­cent. 

With­in Ger­many, green tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies are becom­ing increas­ing­ly com­mon and are shown to expe­ri­ence increas­ing suc­cess. A 2018 report by the Fed­er­al Min­istry for the Envi­ron­ment found that Ger­many held 16.6% market share of the world’s green tech­nol­o­gy mar­ket, with the aver­age green tech com­pa­ny report­ing an annu­al rev­enue of 25 million Euro.  

The mes­sage is clear: the Eco-sus­tain­abil­i­ty move­ment is here to stay, and it is not a threat but an incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty for man­u­fac­turesThe imple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able prac­tices is a chance to opti­mize and improve pro­duc­tion, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly pro­tect­ing the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment man­u­fac­tures rely on.  

Author: Hugo Görans­son , Glasford Inter­na­tion­al Deutsch­land Research & Analytics